Brycon orbignyanus is an important large teleost that is currently on the list of endangered species, therefore studies on its reproductive biology and embryology are fundamental to help species conservation and recovery. The objective of this research was to characterize the events that occur during extrusion, fertilization and embryonic development of the species. The samples were collected at predetermined times, fixed and processed for light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The greenish oocytes were spherical, had translucent chorion and a mean diameter of 1.3±0.11 mm. The eggs had well defined animal and vegetative poles approximately 18 min post-fertilization. Stages from 2 to 128 blastomeres occurred between 20 min and 3 h post-fertilization (hPF), when the morula was characterized. The blastula stage was observed between 2 and 3 hPF, and the gastrula between 3 and 7 hPF, when the embryonic shield emerged and the cellular migration with the consequent formation of epiblast and hypoblast. At 8 hPF, the formation of the neural tube, above the notochord and the encephalic region, was observed, delimiting the forebrain, mesencephalon and rhombencephalon regions. From 11 hPF onward, the optic vesicle was formed close to the forebrain and the embryo tail was well developed. The optic vesicle was observed from 12 hPF onward, and the tail showed an intense movement that culminated with the rupture of the chorion and consequent hatching of the larva at 13 hPF and 27°C.